The One and the Golden Circle

Author: Don Allen Beene
RRP 15.99, US $18.95, Cdn $30.95
ISBN 0 595 27921
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The world was astounded when Watson & Crick cracked the DNA code some 50 years ago and revealed the existence of the double helix. Today, scientists continue their research, struggling to understand the design of the human genome. What if, after years of research, scientists discovered that our DNA was actually an alien invader?...

The One and the Golden Circle puts forward an interesting theory. What would happen if scientists discovered that DNA not only originated on another planet, but that it controlled everything we do?

Okay, it sounds far fetched, but the events, as they are revealed in this novel, sound extremely plausible. And it would certainly explain why, despite numerous warnings and chances to change the way we live, mankind is intent on destroying the environment that allows him to live.

There were some problems I had with this book - be they small. Firstly, when Blane and Bob meet Quinta and Leta some of the dialogue seemed a little forced. As local Indian girls (prostitutes) are traditionally sent to the cabin on the occupants last night, why did Blane and Bob not think this was the case for more than 30 seconds? The girls could quite easily have been feeding them stories in an attempt to put them at ease. And why did the girls so readily start talking about astral projection? Leta and Blane's sudden connection seemed too rushed! Is that normal behaviour when two people meet? Claiming that they have been lovers in a previous incarnation? Personally I would have been suspicious that someone was after my money, or a Visa. But then I've never had an astral projection... so what do I know?

Also, some feminist groups might want to take issue with the fact that memories are passed down the male line. And, that being the case, how can two people (like Blane and Leta) ever recall meeting one another in a previous incarnation (as one of them would nearly always be female those memories would not be passed on to the next generation.

The author, Don Allen Beene, was an Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon (in layman terms a dentist specialising in surgery of the mouth, face and jaws) by degree, until his retirement. Which is the same occupation as his main character. I liked the fact that a lot of the author was in this book - it made it feel more realistic.

Scarily enough, this book is not as far fetched as I wish it was. A lot of it is grounded in science fact, and the leap the reader has to make in order to take in the rest of the events is not that large.

An original, engaging novel which puts a new slant on the well used "aliens are out there" plot.

Nick Smithson

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